Tracker Pixel for Entry

​‘The Eternal Daughter,’ Another Fantastic Hogg/Swinton

Cinema | January 8th, 2023

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Just as “Aftersun” explores the contours of a father-daughter relationship, Joanna Hogg’s “The Eternal Daughter” laser-focuses on the particulars of a parent-child bond. In this case, Hogg’s longtime friend, collaborator, and all-around force of nature Tilda Swinton plays both mother and daughter in a film linked to Hogg’s “Souvenir” series as a kind of spiritual/spirited sequel.

In an interview with David Sims in which the notion of the “Hogg-verse” is proposed, the filmmaker indicates that she opted to use “Souvenir” monikers Julie and Rosalind “late in [the] development” of the movie. “The Eternal Daughter” can be viewed independently from the pair of stories starring Swinton’s own daughter Honor Swinton Byrne, but the in-world connections provide an extra layer of enjoyment.

“The Eternal Daughter” is, among other things, a ghost story. The fog-shrouded onetime manor/current hotel where the now middle-aged Julie takes mom Rosalind for both birthday celebration and potential film research is a spectral presence situated in the Welsh countryside. We discover that Rosalind spent time there years ago when it belonged to the family of her aunt as a private residence.

Like the Pevensie siblings in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” young Rosalind was sheltered in the manse with other relatives during World War II. As the elder shares recollections with Julie (who often records the audio without her mother’s knowledge or consent), Hogg asks the viewer to pay close attention to the two women, simultaneously intensifying the bond between them and outlining their stark differences.

Despite the seriousness of mortality, history, and things now lost, Hogg and Swinton never take themselves too seriously. “The Eternal Daughter” is often hilarious, the laughs in balance with the disconcerting feelings of dread brought on by nervous dogs, odd sounds in the night, empty hallways, and the driver who warns of a figure glimpsed standing in a window.

Our first strong indication of a sense of Hogg’s playful fun – outside Swinton’s terrific double role – is the scene introducing the sour receptionist played by Carly-Sophia Davies. The check-in exchange, in which Davies’s unnamed clerk gives Julie a hard time about specific room availability even though every room in the entire joint appears vacant, is just one absurdly funny exchange.

Both Davies and Swinton deadpan their way through several low-stakes irritations and indignities – the inn is so short-staffed, the insolent character played by Davies also waits on guests at mealtime. We wouldn’t be surprised to learn she is also preparing the food in the kitchen.

Hogg is a master at hinting at unseen worlds. Each night, Julie watches the clerk in and around the car of a visitor (perhaps a lover?). We share Julie’s voyeuristic thrill, even as the act of looking humanizes and enhances someone we know so little about.

A couple other people pop in and out – there’s a great scene with the groundskeeper played by Joseph Mydell and another diversion with the unwanted visit of a relative (Crispin Buxton) – but the heart of the tale takes place in the conversations shared between Julie and Rosalind, brought to life so exquisitely by one of our finest screen performers. 

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.eduGovernor Doug Burgum called for the removal of the anti-corporate farming law during the State of the State Address. The anti-corporate farming law is a contentious topic. Some…

By Alicia Underlee Nelsonalicia@hpr1.comAfter a year of darkness, the windows at the corner of First Avenue and Broadway – the building that sparked the Downtown Fargo renaissance – are once again aglow. Friends shrug off their…

Now-February 25Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargohttps://frostival.com/schedule/Whoever said there’s nothing to do in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo clearly hibernates through Frostival, because this six-week celebration of winter just…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: The sound of ND collectively holding its breathAs the legislative session nears one may notice a certain stillness in the air as a good part of North Dakota’s population collectively…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comCan a Sick Society Recover from Plagues, Pandemics, and Pandemonium?I wanted to check the dictionary definition of “pandemic”: Widespread; general; universal. In medicine: Epidemic over an…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.comThe winter blues has me feeling sentimental about former Fargo eateries. It’s been so cold recently that I need to warm up with some fond food memories.The first eatery of absence on my nostalgia…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comSick riffs, extreme vocals, chaotic energy: all these and more are among the reasons that people listen to…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comThe unbelievable fate of one of the world’s largest collections of physical movie media is the subject of “Kim’s Video,” a fizzy and entertaining nonfiction cocktail mixing essay-like…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comIf you’ve ever driven down the Enchanted Highway, the 32-mile ribbon of road connecting Regent to Gladstone in western North Dakota, home to the world’s largest salvaged metal sculptures,…

By Jessica M. Hawkesjmhawkes84@gmail.comIt wasn’t long after the founding of the railroad and river town of New Rockford that entertainment venues started to put down their own roots. Its population bolstered by booms of nearby…

By Jan Syverson  Jan.r.Syverson@gmail.comFor the past 30 years live, stand-up comedy has had a place in the Fargo Moorhead area, Starting with…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

By Breanna Sieglerbreanna@icehousefit.comNew Year, New You? I guess that means that I have to go to the gym three times a week and I should probably sign up for an event so that I can stay on track. I think I could maybe do a half…

By Stacie Hansen-Leiersubmit@hpr1.com I’ve been a resident of Valley City for most of my fifty-one years, with the exception of short residencies in Jamestown, Fargo, the Park Rapids Minn. area and five years in the Cities.I’ve…